Friday, January 23, 2009

Love for corrupt politicians?

I sat in a Starbucks yesterday working on our budget. . . . way too many numbers on a computer screen makes my head spin. 

Next to me sat George W.  (not bush!).  George is a man about 70 I would guess.  We struck up a conversation and I found out that he is a working man, now retired.  Maintenance mostly which I took to mean cleaning with small repairs now and again.  George was dressed respectfully in the way you can with clothes closet charm.  the suit coat and slacks don't quite match, both a dark green and nice material but not often washed and not quite the same. 

The white cotton dress shirt was likely a size or 3 too big, as the sleeves hung out from the coat, but that made room for the 2 layers of white long-johns underneath for warmth.  This was a man of respect and simple means and probably a great backstory. 

As we spoke he shared that he was behind in the rent and looking for odd jobs to try to make it right.  His landlord has taken him to court twice and hit him with the court costs, but the landlord hasn't shown up.  So he still has his place but went from being behind by $400 to now $800 with court costs.  

his rent is $605.  his income is $635 per month.

As we spoke George pulled a bus card from his wallet and told me how the card gave him free access to public transportation.  This was a blessing because he has had cancer a few years ago and while it is in remission, he had gone 2 years without a doctors visit -- because he never had money to ride the bus and get around town for appointments, check-ups, medication and other things.  Rod Blagojevich, who negotiated free public transportation fare for all seniors in IL, is his hero.  probably saved his life literally.  

As we spoke I remembered that my wife reminded me that our kids have health care only because Blagojevich used an executive order to provide the medical care program for children in IL that we are under.  That's why she voted for him last time.  I did too come to think of it.  

So while the whole world is casting aspersions (and rightly so) we should remember that like all of us, Rod Blago is not all bad. 


b_wongkamalasai said...

Amen Joel. I have read a few blogger entries on the corrupt Rod B. issue, but none have really put it in such simple understandable human terms. We certainly are quick to forget the good that people do for us as soon as sin creeps into their lives.

Today it was announced that our pastor had officially resigned, effective immediately. He resigned because of sexual impurity in his private life. I know that as a pastor he has probably done a lot in the realm of pastoral care. Those in our congregation certainly seem to look up to him or at least did (for the most part).

How will those that have been ministered by him respond once they hear this announced this weekend?

How will I find myself responding when I am approached about the issue?

JudyBright said...

I have a bit of a different take on this. Well, and entirely different take.

I believe the poor are used to keep politicians in power more than the government actually doing good and helping people. Politicians like this know that if people are dependent on the government and see them as a benevolent provider, they can give them enough to keep them a loyal voter while they stay in power and become more and more corrupt.

How is this different than what Chavez does in Venezuela to stay in power or the welfare Hamas provides in Palestine to keep their power?

I can not judge someone who is in need voting because of their immediate needs, but I think it's a bit naive to think politicians are doing this out of the good of their hearts.

hammerdad said...

hey judy,

I don't for a minute think that blago or others do all of this out of the goodness of their hearts, as he is arguing through his media blitz. But that doesn't mean that (a) he is all bad -- this was my main point nor (b) that all such policies are necessarily bad.

I for one think that allowing low income seniors free access to public transportation is a really good idea -- over against the actual policy that allows all seniors the privilege. Or it could be all citizens who are low income and have serious health issues. . . this would be a good thing I think.

Anyway, my main point was that he's an easy target for all of us and unleashing pure scorn for any Christian is necessarily an exercise in hypocrisy.